How do you feel when you hear about the arrest of Jesus?
This is a long passage. Firstly Jesus is arrested from the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas has betrayed him to the authorities and they came with soldiers and there was a weird fight involving someone losing an ear that was healed and people falling to the ground, as if repelled by the power of Jesus. Judas was a betrayer.
But then so was Peter. Even though he had tried to fight in the garden, later on he denied even knowing Jesus. Not just once, but three times. Jesus had told him earlier that this would happen, but he hadn’t believed it. He had thought it would never happen to him. He would never betray Jesus. And yet he did.
And so did Pilate. He was in a position with the law on his side. He could have released Jesus – he even said “I find no basis for a charge against [Jesus]”. He goes for the easy option, the one that would please the crowds (who no doubt had been stirred by the authorities to get the answer they wanted – manipulation is nothing new!) He was too weak to do the right thing and release Jesus.
We have all betrayed Jesus in some way or other. Maybe by not owning up that we follow him, maybe by repeating something sinful that we know isn’t right but we keep going back to. Some blatantly, some because we’re scared of what might happen to us, some because we’re scared to do the right thing. Someone once wrote that all that is required for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Don’t be one of the people who do nothing!
Lord God, we pray that you would give us strength today to follow you, even when it gets tough or when we’re scared. Please give us what we need to not betray you.
How can you tell someone that you follow Jesus today?